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President Bullard Speaks with High Schoolers

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

By Maria Hasenstab, Public Affairs Staff

Members of the St. Louis Fed’s student board of directors met recently with James Bullard, our president and CEO.

During a question-and-answer session with the high school students, Bullard talked about his role and touched on topics like virtual currencies, China’s economy and the need for more women to study economics.

“To all the women sitting around the table, we need you in the field,” Bullard said. “Get your Ph.D.s in economics. We need you; we need really good people.”

Communication and Technology

Bullard used some of his own experiences to shape his answers to the students. Before earning a doctorate in economics from Indiana University and working in research at the St. Louis Fed, he studied quantitative methods and information systems, in addition to economics, at St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minn. Then, he worked at State Farm in Bloomington, Ill.

Bullard encouraged students to learn as many technical skills as possible in their areas of future study: “The world is full of code that needs to be written,” he said. “In a way, we’re all going to be programmers.”

When asked about a specific skill set, Bullard said the ability to communicate a technical topic in a way that a general audience can grasp is what can take a person far in his or her career.

“I’m not saying I’m good at it,” he said, with a chuckle, “But it’s important.”

The meeting also included a presentation by the Bank’s HR team. The students brought their resumes and learned ways to highlight their educational and work experiences.

About the Student Board

What it is: The St. Louis Fed’s student board of directors program offers high school seniors a dynamic way to learn about our nation's central bank. Members come from diverse backgrounds and serve as liaisons between area high schools and the Fed. 

What students do: Through monthly meetings at the St. Louis Fed, students learn from leading economists and complete Econ Lowdown economic education lessons. They gain a thorough understanding of the Fed's role in the U.S. economy and experience the Fed’s unique partnership with banks, businesses and the community.

Get involved: Learn how to apply or nominate a student here. Applications for 2018-19 student board will be accepted through March 9.

Additional Resources

Maria Hasenstab 

Maria Hasenstab is a media relations coordinator with the St. Louis Fed. She works in Public Affairs.

Tagged maria hasenstabjames bullardstudent boardcareerseconomic educationhigh school